DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION IN THE 21ST CENTURY CLASSROOM
Democritus University of Thrace (GREECE)
No class can be perfectly uniform. In countries like Greece teaching was always a way to transfer knowledge in classrooms where students are considered a uniform and homogeneous population (Koutselini & Persianis, 2001). It is a common phenomenon to have one teacher, 25-30 students, a topic for different interests, a learning objective for different intelligences, default time for fast or slow learners and a method for different types of learning at the same time. The Commission set up by UNESCO in 1993 found that in order for education to meet the requirements of the 21st century, the objectives and expectations of people must change. A wide learning culture helps people discover and develop their creative ability and reveal the treasure they hide inside them (UNESCO 2002:126)
Through a content analysis of the new school curriculum, the textbooks and the teaching guidelines this study will present those elements that support or enhance differentiated instruction in mixed ability classes courses in Modern Greek Language and Literature in the Greek Secondary Education (junior & senior High School). This differentiation in instruction will be in terms of content, the product, and the learning environment based on the readiness, interests and profile of the students (Theroux, 2004; Tomlinson, 2001; Tomlinson, 2003-2004c). The outcome of this study will be a useful proposal for the application of differentiated instruction in the teaching of Modern Greek Language & Literature.
This study aims at minimizing the diversity in the classroom using data derived from school curricula, textbooks, but will also help the organization of an effective instructional intervention with the active involvement of the teacher. This intervention, however, should respect and build on the natural processes of the edification of knowledge (Resnick, 1987:36) having as its main features on-going assessment of pupils' needs and flexible grouping (Tomlinson, 2001; Tomlinson, 2003-2004c).
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Tomlinson, C. A., (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. (2nd Ed.) Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
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